Friday, May 30, 2014

Quilting practice

Hello all, and welcome to the weekend! Where did this week go?

I spent most of the week outside, cleaning up in the garden, planting some annuals, and trying to get ahead of the weeds. We went from bare earth to uncontrollable jungle in about two weeks, so right now I'm afraid the weeds are winning. Those suckers have amazing survival skills to have come up again after the winter we had.

When I wasn't outside, I was working on quilting up the small pieces I had piled up. It was fun, for the most part.  The first thing you should know is that I am a total and complete amateur at this. I am constantly amazed that anything that I attempt comes out of the machine looking acceptable at all. To make sure I get a decent result, I use stencils, quarter-inch tape, quilting paper, and anything else that can help me get a decent design stitched in.  Here is the first project to show you what I mean:

This is a little quilt made out of extra half-square triangles. To get ready to quilt it, I basted it and then traced a leaf pattern into very thin quilting paper, which I pinned to the center with straight pins. I also traced a stencil in the border, which doesn't show up in the picture too well. Here's a close-up of the quilting paper:

Then it's just a matter of stitching along the lines and tearing away the paper. Here is the result:

And here is a close-up of the quilting of the same corner shown above:

 Success! I even put the binding on it. This is my happy finish for the week.

Another piece that got quilted was the bright child's quilt that I showed earlier this week.

I don't mind telling you that I went to battle with this one. I just did channel quilting on it, and if I had tried anything else I would have given up completely. It was just too big for me to comfortably handle. We wrestled, but I won! It turned out pretty well. The lines here are about an inch apart and took forever. Plus a LOT of thread. This was done with a walking foot. I drew the first line so that it was straight, but the others were done with the little spacing bar that attaches to the foot.

This one is just outline quilted:

This is from a Kim Schaefer calendar quilts pattern and has been hanging around waiting since last year. Oops. As you can see, I started to draw in some feathers to practice quilting those, but I chickened out. I probably will find a design to trace for the feathers and then quilt those in. It looks pretty good with just outlines, but I could use the practice.

The last one is partially done:

This little banner is made of orphan blocks from a quilt I started but gave up on. It was a block of the month at a shop near here a couple of years ago. I hated the fabric, so I never made the rest of the blocks and eventually gave the rest of it away. If you look closely, you can see that I just did some meandering and put in a few details on the houses. My bobbin ran out partway through the right side, so I quit for a while and will go back and finish that.

That was my quilting week! It was fun, but I am ready to get back to piecing. I plan to finish the Fiesta pinwheels quilt next week so I am looking forward to that. One more picture to send everyone into the weekend:

The irises are blooming! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Linking up with Sarah and Amanda and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday. By the way, while you are at Sarah's blog, scroll down and look for her posting of the Tennessee block for the AMB blog tour. It's awesome!


Snowcatcher said...

My irises finally are blooming, too, after a long winter. You did wonderful with these finishes; that child's quilt certainly is bright and cheery! Love the design!

Julie said...

My flowers are coming up too! I love them! Great projects. Quilting practice is always fun/stressful.